Animal Crossing New Horizons: How to Change Nicknames

Animal Crossing New Horizons: How to Change Nicknames

We explain how to change the nicknames your villagers will call you.

Nearly all the villagers in Animal Crossing New Horizons are friendly and inviting, and a lot of them will have special nicknames for you. We'll explain how to change your villagers' nicknames for you and what the impact of that is.

On this page:

How to Change Nicknames in Animal Crossing New Horizons

To change your nickname in Animal Crossing New Horizons you'll need to be frequently talking with your villagers so that they start a conversation about changing their nickname for you or coming up with a new one. The process is pretty random however, as there's a chance that villagers will occasionally bring up the possibility of changing their nickname for you whenever you speak to them. As far as we know, this possibility isn't impacted by your relationship with that villager, though talking to them on a daily basis will increase both the chance of that conversation happening and your relationship with them at the same time.

Nicknames are used whenever villagers speak to you. | Joel Franey/USgamer, Nintendo

The nickname a villager suggests for you will be drawn from a pool of pre-written nicknames. They'll then ask if you like it or not. If you say no, the character will either simply be sad and end the conversation (if your relationship isn't very good), or if you have a good relationship, they'll ask what you'd prefer, giving you a chance to enter your own preferred nickname into the game. Unlike in previous Animal Crossing games, New Horizons does not filter nicknames by gender, so your villagers can suggest any possible name for you.

Once a villager has a nickname for you, they'll start using it in every conversation you have with them, at least until enough time passes that they ask if you want to change it again. There's also a chance that other villagers will pick up on this nickname and start to use it too, though this is pretty rare. Of course, if you want to get rid of a villager before that happens, we've explained that at our guide here.

Speaking to Isabelle can allow you to change catchphrases. | Joel Franey/USgamer, Nintendo

How to Change Villager Catchphrases

You can change a villager's catchphrase much in the same way as their nickname - given time, there's a random chance they'll ask for a new suggestion. We found that this change is one that they'll run up to you to ask, rather than you prompting a conversation with them, but we're still looking into seeing if it can happen the other way around. Catchphrases can also catch on in the same way as nicknames, with other villagers beginning to mimic it over time.

Can Isabelle Change Nicknames and Catchphrases?

From what we know so far, you can have Isabelle change villagers' catchphrases by talking to her Resident Services (if you don't have Isabelle at your island yet, you can follow the steps on this guide here). Once you do have her there, do the following:

  • Speak to Isabelle.
  • Select "Discuss a resident."
  • Select the resident whose catchphrase you want to change.
  • When asking what the problem is, tell Isabelle it's "the way he/she talks".
  • Repeat this process over several days. This should prompt a conversation with the character over time where they ask for new suggestion for this catchphrase.
  • There's a chance that this will prompt the villager to ask if they should leave. Make sure to tell them no if you want them to stay.

This will allow you to have control over your villager's catchphrases, but to our knowledge Isabelle cannot impact their use of nicknames. Nonetheless, we'll update this guide as soon as we learn more in the future.

If you want Animal Crossing content, we know the name of the game. If you want to see Eric's report on how Redd the fox is causing some people to revamp their islands, we've got that right here, or check out how New Horizons brought the USgamer crew together at the link here.

Joel Franey

Guides Writer

Joel loves books, games, comics and drinks that make a person feel like they just got kicked in the head by a mule. He has a Masters in writing from Sussex, which he somehow got by writing about Superman. He is absolutely NOT three children in a long coat, so please stop asking.

In other news

The Second Player Goose in Untitled Goose Game Has a New Honk

There are also some subtle visual ways to tell the two naughty geese apart.

Minecraft Gets PlayStation VR Support Later This Month

In a free update for all current players.

And Now, a One-Woman Performance of Hamilton in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

And there's a chance you could attend a future performance!

Nintendo's Mario-Palooza Shows How the Pandemic Could Change Everything

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | There's no such thing as a slow news week when the industry is forced to question its most foundational assumptions.

You may also like

The Outer Worlds Just Got Much-Needed Optimizations and Visual Upgrades on Switch

It might not be a total overhaul, but it's a spit-shine at the very least.

Darkest Dungeon 2 Heads Into Early Access Next Year

Looks like 2021 will also hold plenty of horrors.

Devolver Digital Acquires Serious Sam Makers Croteam

A press release jokes that it could also be the other way around, but let's keep this publisher/developer relationship simple.

Ubisoft Merges Uplay and Ubisoft Club Into One Cross-Progression Platform

Connect will bridge the gap between consoles and generations.